Out of the many rooms in a household, the bathroom can present the most danger, especially to seniors. Burns, cuts and falls can all happen here, with falls causing the most concern. And with the number of hard and sharp surfaces in a narrow space, any fall can be debilitating. There are a number of ways to make the make the bathroom safer, at little or no cost.
1) Because throw rugs can present a trip hazard, they should be removed. In fact, all clutter should be taken from the floor.
2) Grab bars (see the next article on installation) should be installed next to the toilet for getting on and off.
3) A grab bar should be installed at the entrance to the shower or bath and more inside the shower or bath stall.
4) Verify that the hottest temperature coming out of the tap is 120 degrees F.
5) Make sure a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is installed near water sources, to eliminate shock hazards if an electrical device falls into the water.
6) Clean up water spills on the floor immediately.
7) Eliminate towel bars that might accidentally be used as a grab bar. Towel bars are installed into sheetrock only and sometimes just a slight tug can dislodge them.
8) Remove glass and ceramic items. If they break, they can cause serious cuts.
9) Install a high-rise, chair height toilet for ease of getting on and off. An alternative is a raised toilet seat.
10) Install non-slip strips to the bottom of the bathtub or shower stall.
11) Consider a medical alert service, such as LifeStation, especially if living alone.